Fundamental Research Division
The DRF at the CEA assemble approximately 6,000 scientists since January 2016.
Methodologies for life sciences | Structural biology | Large-scale biology
In medical imaging, developments focus on the quality of acquisitions (temporal and spatial resolution, sensitivity) and their interpretation. This is a question of improving technologies (e.g. the development of an antenna for high-field MRI, or software exploitation data), biochemical approaches (e.g. biomolecular labeling, or development of contrast agents) or developing new protocols. The DSV coordinates the national infrastructure in biology and health France Life Imaging (FLI), which organizes and standardizes French technological research in preclinical and clinical imaging.
Possible approaches to understand the functioning of a cell include the study of genes (and their transcription), proteins, and metabolites. These investigations generate a large amount of data (or “big data”) whose analysis requires skills and significant bioinformatic resources. To achieve this, the DSV has at its disposal a network of bioinformaticians with expertise in large-scale analyses and systems biology, making the DSV a major user of the TGCC/GENCI supercomputing center. Molecular modeling also has a prominent role, with an internationally visible expertise. The DSV is involved in structuring the French research landscape in these areas through its role in the national infrastructure of proteomics (Profi), genomics (France Génomique), and metabolomics and fluxomics (MétaboHUB).
Biochemical reactions in a cell operate in three dimensions. The goal of integrated structural biology is to understand these reactions at the molecular level in a cellular and dynamic context. To integrate the finest possible structural data into their models, researchers at the DSV are developing new methodologies in NMR, mass spectrometry, microscopy, crystallography, and small angle scattering.Teams from the Institute of Structural Biology (IBS) that are part of the infrastructure include FRISBI (on a national level) and INSTRUCT (on the European level).
Nearly a year after its first images were obtained with a simple validation radiofrequency (RF) coil, NeuroSpin’s Iseult 11.7-tesla MRI is now equipped with an 8-transmit and 32-receive RF coil array integrated in a local magnetic shim array that will allow it to reach its full potential. Here we look back at this development, a technological feat achieved by CEA-Joliot and CEA-Irfu.
Researchers at the CEA-Joliot (NeuroSpin) have succeeded in systematically decoding the cognitive activity associated with various brain activation patterns as recorded by functional MRI. This feat was achieved using neural networks trained on the largest public brain imaging database.
Using almost fully automated processes, researchers at Irig have designed a three-dimensional microenvironment in which cells form a tissue resembling a mini-tumor. Their work opens new perspectives for personalized medicine.
Researchers at the CEA-Joliot (NeuroSpin), in collaboration with the Gustave Roussy Institute, the Necker Hospital and the Curie Institute (Orsay), have proposed an original method for analyzing MRI images of rare brain tumors, by combining automatic object detection and deep learning segmentation for common tumors.
Studies carried out by the CEA-Joliot show that simultaneous PET/MR imaging noticeably improves the detection of lesions responsible for epilepsies, as well as the preparation of the surgical interventions used to treat them.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.